NINE Tamworth hockey players are on their way to the nation’s capital for the PSSA State Hockey Championships next week.
Seven boys will compete for North West, while St Ed’s pair Noah Pitt and Luke Maher will play against them for Polding at the National Hockey Centre in Canberra.
The Taggart twins, Ryan and Chris, are from Tamworth Public School, while Oliver McGill and Cameron Barber are from Tamworth South and Kootingal respectively.
The big news is that four boys from the small school Timbumburi are in the side.
For a school of only around 130 students this is a top effort.
Even more impressively it will be the third year that Ryan Constable and Toby Smith will wear the light blue at the state championships, while it will be the second year for George Nash and Lachie Butler.
The remainder of the team are Zac Davidson, Marley Lynch and Rohan Lawrence from Ben Venue in Armidale, and Dylan Sutton from Guyra.
With so much experience in the side, manager Peter Godsell is hoping to improve on the sixth place the side took last year.
“We have only had two training sessions together so far,” Godsell said.
“Most of the boys play together or against each other on Saturdays so know each other’s games well.”
Polding and North West have drawn separate sides of the draw, so the Tamworth boys could find themselves facing each other in a semi- final fixture if they go well in the pool games.
Both have tough draws, with NW facing North Coast and Riverina on Tuesday, before finishing with Sydney East and West on Wednesday afternoon.
A game against Western in the middle could give the boys a platform to gain some momentum to take on the Sydney sides.
Polding will open with Sydney South West but have drawn the pool with last year’s winner’s Hunter, who they will play on Wednesday morning.
The finals and play-off games will all be played on Thursday morning with a presentation and NSW team announcement at 1.30pm.
Tamworth and New England both have sides competing at the U15 State Championships which begin in Taree today. Tamworth goes in as defending champions and will play in Pool A of Division 1, while New England will line up in the same pool in Division 2.